From the long driveway framed by beautiful flowering crabapple trees, to the heavenly views of rolling hills and the sea beyond, Diana and Tom’s holiday home on Victoria’s ruggedly beautiful Mornington Peninsula spells tranquillity and relaxation.
Little wonder that the Melbourne-based couple, together with their teenage children Grace and Will, find themselves seizing every opportunity to head to their cherished home away from home – also frequented by ducks, koalas and other local wildlife.
As does Louis, the family cavoodle. “This is absolutely Louis’ favourite place in the world,” says Diana with a laugh. “We only have to pick up his blanket and say ‘We’re going to see the ducks!’ and he goes crazy. He knows exactly what we mean and where we’re going.
Diana and Tom had been searching “on and off for a few years” for their dream escape when they first came across the property two years ago. “We instantly looked at each other and said, ‘This is the one’,” recalls Diana.
“The house is up on a hill a little way from the nearest township, so it has a real sense of privacy and seclusion. It also has such a country feel to it.”
On first inspection, the decade-old home was in pristine condition, featuring soaring ceilings, exquisite French antique panelled doors and airy living and sleeping quarters that required no structural changes.
All that remained, as far as Diana and Tom were concerned, was to breathe new life into the decor, transforming the interiors into their own vision of laid-back style and functionality.
After engaging interior decorator Nicole Rosenberg of Liberty Interiors, the couple decided on an elegant yet relaxed and pared-back approach. First on the agenda was to paint most walls white, instantly imbuing the home with a crisp, clean vibe.
Furnishings in natural tones and complementary shades of grey and navy allow the glorious setting to be the hero, while occasional hits of saturated colour come courtesy of contemporary art – notably a large-scale work by acclaimed Australian artist Todd Hunter in the core chill-out space.
In the bedrooms, gorgeous feature wallpaper claims centrestage, with oversized pendants adding a further sense of contemporary grace and drama throughout.
“I wanted the spaces to have more of an on-trend Hamptons feel, which we then achieved by bringing in light wood with navy and grey accents throughout,” says Nicole.
“Diana was a dream to work with… My joy comes from seeing my clients love their new space and being a part of a family’s new journey.”
Indeed, for Diana and Tom, the final result is just as they had hoped it would be. The home now perfectly fits the bill of a laid- back hub for wonderful getaways with family and friends – a sublime retreat that looks set to one day become their permanent base.
“This is definitely the place we’d like to retire to,” says Diana. “As the kids become more independent we’ll spend even more time here, and we eventually plan to live here full-time.”
“It was really important to us that the home still felt very relaxed and accessible – not at all ostentatious.” ~ DIANA
“Nicole was wonderful in encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone when it came to colour and texture.” ~ DIANA
When it comes to writing about all things homes-related, Jackie – a magazine features writer for over 25 years – is simply in her element. Few things bring her more joy than sitting down for a chat with homeowners to uncover their secrets to decorating magic. Other than spending time with her family and beloved golden retriever Bosley, of course!
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